Russell Panico is the new Athletic Director for Kalamazoo Valley Community College, replacing Dick Shilts, who retired after 32 years at the helm. Russ has been the Student Relations Coordinator at
Kalamazoo Valley for two years and he will continue to serve in that capacity.
Russ came to KVCC from Spring Arbor University, where he was a faculty member and Academic Advisor. Russ served in the Navy and began college at Hagerstown Community College in Hagerstown, Maryland. After being honorably discharged from the Navy he transferred to Indiana University in South Bend, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. He now holds Master’s degrees from Western Michigan University in Public Administration and Educational Leadership. He is also working on a Doctorate degree in Public Administration.
Russ and his wife Robin live in Texas Township and have a 16-month-old son, Carson. Russ said he’s excited about his new role as Athletic Director. As Student Relations Coordinator, Russ has worked with students, faculty and administrators to address student concerns and discipline matters. He said he’s looking forward to expanding his efforts to help ensure student-athlete success. "There is such a rich legacy of academic and athletic success at KVCC," he said. "The coaching staff at the college have been second to none in their commitment to guiding our student-athletes to be successful both in the classroom and their respective fields of play. My goal is to continue to foster an environment where student-athletes at KVCC have the opportunity to maximize their academic, personal, and social growth and improve their post-KVCC aspirations."